Monday, February 28, 2005

Sunday, 2/27 LSD

Group rides are always hard, on one hand its definitely more fun to be riding with others, but you end up stopping more then you would like, riding some else’s tempo, and or doing route slightly less then ideal . Today's plan was simple for (Master Chief) Ben and I to do some LSD (Long Slow Distance). The route was to head down south from Seattle, through Renton, go down the Maple Valley highway, through Maple Valley, over to Enumclaw, up Mud Mountain, and back. The route has a great mixture of both long flat tempo sections interspersed between some knarley climbs. Tempo wise the idea was to basically chill the whole day. The whole ride went very well. The only real difficulty was that my rear shifting more or less completely fell apart over the course of the ride. By the end of the ride the largest rear cog I could get into was at most a 17 tooth gear.

We ended up averaging 17.9 MPH for 120 miles and were only off the bike for ~13 minutes. Not quite Team Velowear caliber times, but also not too bad considering its February. This week, was definitely the big week training hour wise, I ended up somewhere in the 18-19 hour range. This next week will definitely be a recovery week. I’m really excited that, there are only ~3 months to go.

Food during the ride: Two bottles of Perpetuem (one scoop in each), two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, one flask vanilla gel, and a large Fuji apple.

Recovery (same as yesterday): I took two Super AO, did two scoops of whey with milk and took 4 Hammer TR, and then propped the legs up for a little bit.


Saturday, 2/26 Mileage Nazi Strikes Again.

The training plan, had said that this weekend was going to be a recovery week, but the weather forecast dictated otherwise. The weather was supposed to stay good through the weekend and then turn sour this next week. With that in mind the recovery week was pushed back one week.

The plan for Saturday was to do one final ride with the cat 4/5 Aurora riders before racing season kicks in this next week. The idea was to log ~80+ miles with the team, doing mostly chill tempo riding, maybe a little pace lining, talk some strategy, etc. The idea was to do all this with a smaller group of 4/5 riders who are all highly talented and under categorized.

This is all good in theory, but the reality is when other riders get the faint whiff that something good is going to go down its hard to keep them away. The end result was that we hit the road with what felt like the whole men’s team in tow.

The group road north, up to Log Boom Park. On getting to the park we picked up a few more riders. The plan from here was to take a mixture of cycling trail's and roads up to Marymoor Park. Once at Marymoor we broke into two groups and pacelined up the east side of the lake Sammamish. With the mixture in abilities the pacelineing was very mediocre and few riders were spit out the back.

On getting to the southern tip of Sammamish, we regrouped and continued on to ride the inverse May Valley extension (variation #5). Riding up to the May Valley turn off I tried to up the tempo a little and stretch the group out. Once on the turn off to May Valley we regrouped and went over a short climb and then broke into two groups to practice pacelineing again. This time the groups were split on ability levels. The second attempt at pacelineing was ok, but still not great. We were doing fast rotations but some how the pace never really got elevated high enough.

We regrouped at a stop light. On rolling through we gave one final shot at the whole paceline thing. The only catch was a few of the stronger riders from the first group, got mixed in with the rest of us in the second group. With 10 people in the line it again wasn't working right. The pace just felt slow. Moving up through the line I talked with Ben, and we decided that when I got to the front, I'd significantly up the tempo and see what happened.

On getting to the front I upped the paced significantly, I had sort of hoped to dance off the front, but the other seasoned rider were riding sharp, and we split the group again. With the acceleration in pace the paceline finally felt right and we really grooved from the final 2-3 miles.

On getting back to the lake, the group split again. The bulk of the group headed in, and myself, Ben, and a few other riders still seeking extra miles headed south around the bottom of lake Washington and then back north.

For the last few month's I haven't been riding with a bicycle computer. It just hasn't seemed necessary or really all the important; I've just been watching my heart rate and total time on the bike. Today I really wanted to make sure that both Ben and I got in close to 100 miles. So throughout the ride, I would inquire as to our running distance. On the way back up north, Ben said, "Kenneth your just a mileage Nazi!” We ended up hitting 100 miles right on the dot.

Recovery: I took two Super AO, did two scoops of whey with milk and took 4 Hammer TR, and then propped the legs up for a little bit.


Friday, February 25, 2005

Team Tartan!

As I discussed in a previous blog entry racing ultra's in the solo category is much more then a solo effort, it takes a whole team or in ultra lingo crew. Back in September driving back from the Knoxvill double there was much discussion as to what to call ourselves. We needed a name, it needed to be something cool, “Kenneth’s Crew” just wouldn’t do. The name needed to reflect the rider and the crew. Ben and I started brain storming. No name to lame. After much churn "Team Tartan" was born.

2/24/2005 -- Rollers

I spent around 1hr 45 min doing a little indoor rolling and finishing up the 8hr 1999 tour DVD.

I think I've worn out my bike saddle, after a little over a year on my Fizik Alante, the padding on the saddle seems to have turned to mush or maybe it’s me that’s become soft. After today’s ride, I swapped out the old one for a new one I had on hand. So we will have to see if it is the saddle or me. I do like having extra parts on hand, that way I don't get stuck.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

2/23/2005 -- CT Training and Rollers

Racing season is going to start on the 6th of March at the Ice Breaker TT. This is two weekends away. This weeks CT training was designed to be the final TT test before the season kicked off. The plan this week was to do some very short power tests, 3 miles, and .5 mile test. I had hoped we could just skip these shorter tests, but enough of the team wanted to do them that well we did them.

For the tests this week, I road my ultra race bike with the power cranks. The power cranks are fantastic for training and I know are paying off loads in terms of helping me increase my on the bike efficiency, but I also know I'm faster on regular cranks so the following numbers can be taken with a sight grain of salt. For the TT on the 6th, I'm going to run regular cranks.

Any other time three miles feels trivial, but during this TT, it felt like it wouldn't ever end. For the first mile or so on the flat course I was doing over 400 watts then after about a mile in my legs started to tighten. I've found this happens on the power cranks when you're going into the red zone. My wattage then dipped and I was around 375 for the next mile, and then down to the very high end of my 10 mile TT wattage, 340 with a spike back up to ~400 watts for the last .1 mile. I ended up riding 3 miles in 6 min 47 seconds, which was the second fastest time for the evening. In the previous session Josh, was ~2 seconds faster.

The funny thing is I felt like I was recovering at the end of the TT and that I could have ridden on much longer at ~340 watts. Oh well..

After that we did some easy recovery spinning, and then it was back for the .5 sprint test. This is definitely not one of my strengths. If RAO comes down to a sprint between Ski and me I'm going to need all the help I can get. The power cranks sure didn't help my acceleration either.

The sprint started, and I was in something like 4th position, everyone held their spots through the first .3 to point .4 miles at which point some of the leaders started to slide back and I started to move up. I don’t remember the final, .1 miles at all, but in those final seconds, I was going so hard that I lost control of my nose, and shot a huge blast of gross snot out. I know, real classy, Cipollini would just shake his head in pitty. I ended up finishing a solid third. I'm not sure what the time was I never felt like I had really recovered from the first test. By the end of the CT session I had lost my voice, and felt completely sick.

Once I got home, I spent around 1 - 1.5 on the bike doing some easy roller riding. Just spinning the legs and dreaming of RAO.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

2/22/2005 -- Rolling On

I ended up getting back from work today a little later then I would have liked, some how I just got stuck there. On the upside by the time I was on the road, traffic was non existent so it only took 30 minutes to get home. The plan after dinner (leftovers) was to put in some decent time on the rollers with power cranks.

I started riding the rollers watching the end of a flakey action DVD movie. About 10 minutes into the movie my brother John called. We had a great conversation; John's currently down in Ashland Oregon study marketing/business and seems to be having a total blast. I find being able to ride the rollers a no-handed makes talking on the phone and riding really easy.

After getting off the phone, I road to the evenings PBS Frontline episode, A Company of Soldiers in which an imbedded journalist follows “dog company” in Iraq for a month. In my opinion, Frontline episodes are by far the best thing on television, they provided in-depth insight into issues that no other TV journalism even comes close to approaching. In this episode a team of journalists showed what it was like to be on the ground in Iraq. Almost daily, we hear of soldiers getting wounded/killed but the whole concept seems quite abstract. When presented on TV, the utter insanity of situation was extremely powerful. As in all conflicts, soldiers use slang to dehumanize the opposition. I was very surprised and troubled that the United States soldier’s consistently called the insurgents as “Indians”. With the United States Government and particularly the US Army’s past history of genocide with the Native American community, I found this nonchalant racism to be extremely troubling.

After Frontline, I switched back to the DVD, and finished the movie. All and all it was just a little over three solid hours on the rollers, nothing too hard, just some good old fashion spinning.
For recovery I did a few crunches, a little stretching, took some TR, and passed out..


2/21/2005 Rest Day / Lift Day

After a weekend of some fanstatic riding, today was a rest day so all I did was some brief core lifting. I felt quite tired, and only did two sets instead of three. On getting back to the appartment, I turned in early ~10:00.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Sunday, 2/20/2005 Seattle Bike Expo & Aged Cow Manure

Yahoo, the good weather continues.

Part of the impulse to log bigger miles on Saturday, was that today was day two of the Seattle Bike Expo and both Ben and I were volunteering to help man the Aurora Cycle Computrainer Time trial event at Cycle-U. We had the morning shift so we thought our post expo ride would most likely end up being cut a little short.

Arriving at the expo, only one rider was interested in doing the TT and there were three Aurora members manning the facility. Having a serious hungering for coffee, I left on a coffee run. On getting back, we still only had a handful of interested riders. I then realized that at least half of the people coming to the expo went right by cycle-U. In an effort to do some last minute advertising, I took my rollers and a sign for the Time Trial outside and road the rollers on the sidewalk no handed for about 2 hours and waving at people coming to the expo. I'm really not sure if this effort brought anyone in the door, but it was fun, and many riders came up to talk.

At 12:00 my shift ended, and by 1:00 Ben and I were on the road riding north. We really didn't have a plan, but the general idea was to head back out over Hollywood hill, and then loop around north. The ride, went very well, and during the ladder half of the ride we road by a small farm which had a huge sign on a barn advertising "Aged cow manure for sale". Doesn't that make you hungry?

While riding, to pass the time, Ben and I often make up fake dialog for Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin. After seeing the cow manure sign, I came up with the following.

Paul: Phil, you know it was while descending on Sean Yates wheel, that I first saw the "Aged Cow Manure Sign".
Paul (continues): And it was about then, then that I thought, what do I want on my mashed potatoes?
Phil (breaks in): Well, thank you for that Paul, now lets get back to the race..

On returning back to the bike expo, the bike computer said we had done 70 miles! Woohoo, with the morning roller session, this easily gave me another century, and this one totally unplanned.

Recovery: two more scoops of whey in milk, 4 TR, and 2 Super AO and for dinner, spaghetti!

Saturday, 2/19/2005 Snoqualmie Falls

I got up early today, with the plan of riding down to Leshi to meet up with a friend do around 3 hrs together, and then ride some more on my own. I got to Leshi just a tad late, it’s about 30 minutes by bike from where I live. I waited another 15 minutes and then road on, figuring we had just missed linking up again. Foiled, I turned the bike around and headed to crew chief Ben's place to see if he was still game to ride. Another 25 minutes later, I was at Ben's place.

About 45 minutes later, after waving farewell to Kerissa, Ben's sig other, we were back on the road. The new plan was to ride around the north end of the Lake, then head out over "Hollywood Hill", descend down into the valley, ride through Carnation, and up to Snoqualmie falls, and head back to Seattle via another major climb. The total distance is right around 100 miles.

The ride up the lake started off very easy, both of us road a nice tempo and about 15 or so miles later the ride really started at the base of Hollywood. This hill is not long, but it is quite steep. Ugh.. Shifting down and digging a little. Once over the "top", the road continues up at a slightly more gradual grade, before descending back down. Two more significant climbs followed; on the longer of the two I really pushed the pace up the climb. Once back on the valley floor, we raced up the valley to the falls making an effort to keep the tempo up.

After getting new water at the falls (50 miles), we descended back down, headed out through falls city, and back towards Seattle. Getting to the valley requires going over numerous "smaller" climbs, but the return route from falls city is basically one huge climb which never seems to end. One time last year while doing this climb, we passed some "street lugers” who were also heading back up the climb.

Once over the top, we were at a decision point, to head in or to ride more. Both feeling good we opted for the latter and headed back adding miles on the reverse May Valley route. At the southern tip of the lake the wind kicked up, and we worked on our two man pace line skills on the return to the city. Just as we finished the ride, we hit 100 miles on Ben’s computer, so that means I was in the 110 - 120 mile range. Not to shabby for February.

Note on the weather: The weathers been cold, wet, and overcast. Well today, if it hadn't been just a tad chilly I would have sworn it was summer time. Blue skies, not a hint of rain, perfect cycling weather.

Recovery: With the longer miles good recovery is more important. On getting in I ate two scoops of whey in milk, 4 TR, and 2 Super AO, and a large 17 inch veggie pizza. I felt a little guilty about the pizza but I some how ate the whole thing and really never felt full. Oh well. I guess I will just need to ride a little more tomorrow to work it off.


Friday, February 18, 2005

2/17/2005 -- Rolling Rolling Rolling Keep Them Wheels Rolling..

The plan today was to log some good old fashion roller miles the ideal target today was something in the three hour region. I had to get dinner in early so I could start the fasting required for tomorrows physical. After dinner, I got on the rollers and started spinning, at first to TV, and then to 1999 tour dvd’s. I ended up only logging 2.5 hours on the bike, dam! I had really wanted to get three hours in but it started to get late and I would be just a total zombie if I didn't get enough sleep.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

2/16/2005 - CT Session.

Today's training was a little more crimped then I would have liked. I made it just in time to the computrainer session. The session was very similar to the one we road the previous week. The course started with a mile or two flat warm-up, then a decent interlaced with short 0.1 mile "power climbs", finally on reaching the bottom we laddered up over long flat stretches and 2% grades. The course really suites me well at a 2% grade, my power to weight is still looking pretty good, at much more then that and the pure climbers start to take over. But at a 2% grade, I'm right around doing about 20 virtual mph on the Computrainer. On the flats it’s more like 24+-1 mph at TT pace.

The general replay of the ride was, at the bottom of the decent I'd slipped back to 4th place, and by the end of the ladder was 1st by a little more then half a mile. Not too bad. I could be faster though.

I had hoped to ride after the CT session, but things sorta got in the way. I did do a little recovery, and then feeling tired turned in an hour early.

Tomorrow I really need to log some good indoor training miles.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

2/15/2005 Lifting and Rollers..

Being Tuesday it was gym day again, woohoo, my least favorite day of the week. If you've been reading the blog I'm sure you can guess what I did, because it was basically the same as before. Three sets of 30 for both the bar pull, row, and back extension and 3 sets of 50 on the sit-up bench. I also added in some leg work this time. Nothing to hard but just enough that I do feel my quads. After a big sea-food dinner (salmon and scallops), I hopped on the rollers for an hour to spin some of the junk in the legs out.

The other thing, I did today was to schedule a physical for this coming Friday. The thing I'm most interested in is to get a little blood work done, and see if I can get any feedback, iron levels etc.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

2/14/2005 -- Calling out the Crew

So far I've been sorta hogging all the attention but the rider is hardly the end all when it comes to racing ultras. A skilled crew is critical to success. In some ways the crew has a much harder job, I just need to ride my bike, the crew will monitor my fuel intake, course, progress, solve problems as they arise, and above all agree on what radio station to listen to and who's going to free the bear in Mitchel. So, without further ado, here is the crew:

(Crew Chief) Ben Larson: I really can't believe it, but Ben's willing to command the party wagon, filled with my relatives through some of the most remote regions in Oregon. Ben and I have been riding together for a number of years and this coming summer after RAO are gunning for a two man entry at Fireweed. Ben has a very impressive race resume in his own right racing for the UW, at California doubles with a commanding finish this last year at Terrible Two. When not on the bike, Ben is world class canoeist and takes annual paddling expeditions through the Canadian outback.

(Mom) Cathey Philbrick aka the Deutche Frau: Ok, so I want to apologize right here to Terri and George, for including my Mom in the crew! No one will get away with anything when she's on duty, much less me. I can just hear it now, go back and ride bake oven again, you didn't do it right! I half expect to hear my mom at some point counting cadence with a whistle as I climb timberline. In all seriousness she is an accomplished marathoner, and teaches high school art at McNary, in Keizer OR and the last two years has been selected nationally for Fulbright scholarships to Turkey and Japan.

(Dad) David Philbrick: Wood worker extraordinaire, if the bike breaks down and we need to reconstruct a new one out of tumbleweed and log pole pine my dads the man for the job. Seriously, he's one of the most diverse athletes on the team, being an accomplished in crew (rowing), tennis player, cyclist, recreational swimmer and runner. Of everyone else in the family, my dad's kept pace with me on our annual STP bike rides, were both currently tied at 10 only missing one year each. If you’re out in the backcountry in California next summer in John Mure country, don’t be too surprised if you see him trekking down the trail.

Uncle Larry Phibrick: When not crewing Larry, is a nationally ranked masters swimmer currently holding a number of national masters swim records. When not in the pool, Larry teaches science and math at Judson Junior High in Salem OR. Larry is the one who introduced me to ultras. I first learned of RAAM from him while riding the monster cookie and was introduced to the California double scene by stories he had of the Davis Double.


Monday, February 14, 2005

Sunday 2/13/2005 – Maple Valley and Cougar Mountain

Today crew chief Ben and I met up a little after 11:00 AM to put in some good base miles. We both wanted to get some good miles in but since we both had ridden fairly hard the previous day didn’t want to push the tempo too much. We ended up riding out to Maple Valley, a staple route with decent climbing. It was a largely uneventful ride, with a decent amount of climbing. On the way back we modified our route slightly and instead of heading back on our standard gradual climb through Issaquah we turned and took the route over Cougar Mountain.

While only a little over a thousand feet high, cougar definitely is one of the toughest extended climbs close to Seattle. Climbing up Cougar always seems easier in the summer. At some points on the climb it feels like you have to weight the front wheel to keep it grounded to the pavement. On reaching the top, it was back down over Mercer Island and back home. I ended up walking in the apartment a little before 5. Total ride distance, a little over 80 miles.

For recovery, it was more whey, TR, etc, after changing I was back on the road this time in a car to meet a good friend for dinner. Tomorrow I will take a well earned rest day.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Saturday 2/12/2005 -- Climbing Miles..

The plan for today was for a few of us who live near the University to meet up at UZ cafe at 8:00AM and then ride north to meet up with the reset of the team at the log boom park at 8:45.
Well UZ is about a 30 minute ride from my apartment. I was up, out the door and on the bike by 7:40 AM. I got to UZ just a few minutes after 8:00, yeah I road hard. No one was waiting at UZ, so I figured everyone else had already left. Having only eaten a banana for breakfast I stopped for a slice of breakfast quiche and was about to head on when another rider showed up. After getting a tall nonfat latte and scone I was again back on the road. The scone was in the pocket and I attempted to drink the latte while riding, this was about 90% successful. We arrived at log boom right around 8:45, now the thing which kind of burns me is we were first, and first by a lot. Why are we planning on riding at the crack of dawn when everyone is late? Ok so I'm a little cranky, but I only got around three hours of sleep last night and worked hard to make the team ride. Once the rest of the team showed up we were back on the road. The plan for today is to do three or four non trivial extended climbs early in the ride and then head out toward Everett for more climbing. Over all the ride went very well, and I felt very good with my performance overall given my lack of sleep. I attacked some of the early climbs and then spent much of the remainder riding tempo.

I ended up getting back to my apartment and passing out a little after 2:15 PM. I would like to think that all 6:35 minutes were spent on the road but they weren’t, the reality of group rides is you end up stopping more often and longer then would if you were riding solo. The stats for the ride, was something in the 80+ mile range.

On getting back home, after my whey, TR, and endurolights, I passed out for a few hours.


Friday 2/11/2005 -- Project Rain Bike Rebuild Day 2

There are a number of goals behind project rain bike rebuild first and foremost is to increase my comfort on the bike. On extended training sessions my back has been becoming quite sore. The plan is to mirror the fit of my comfy ultra race bike, and this means brining the bars up a little. The end result should be two bikes with a fit as identical as possible. The second goal is to lighten up the bike a little. This isn't a huge priority, but since the rain bike dates back to the days of threaded 1 inch forks (ok so this really wasn't all that long ago but), switching to a modern thread less system should easily accomplish this.

Yesterday I had pretty much taken it all apart and cleaned everything. But I had reached a point where I needed a special tool to pop the old threaded headset and press in the new thread less one. On my way home from work I stopped off at shop, where they quickly did the service and I picked up a couple of extra spacers.

On getting back home I entered my apartment to my phone ringing, it was my good friend Kyle, well the gang was gathering for Thai Food. After Thai, I excused myself from the evening activities getting big L for LAMEO, but I still had to get the bike back together and the plan for tomorrows ride was to be on the road by 7:30, so turning in a little early wouldn't be a bad thing either..

You would think, rebuilding a bike wouldn't take that long, well doing it right does, at least for me. At 3:30AM the bike was done, food for tomorrows ride was laid out, and the alarm had been set for 6:45 AM. Why, oh why did I say I would be at the rendezvous point at 8:00AM??

Friday, February 11, 2005

2/10/2005 -- Cleaning the rain bike

I have two road bikes, my ultra-race bike which has been staying mostly indoors, and my rain bike which doesn't get nearly the attention, is heavier and along with me just suffers through the winter. After this last week, the shifting was really starting to go and the rain bike was shouting. Clean me! I picked up a pack of heavy duty shop towels from an auto parts store, and just went to town on it. I think there is a good chance I had vegetation growing on the down tube. It’s looking a lot better and should have it back together tomorrow. So I can ride it Saturday, when guess what it’s forecasted to rain again. Joy.


2/9/2005 -- Computrainer and Rollers,

Last week it had been announced that the team wouldn't be having a CT session today, due to a lack of an official Computrainer rep. Around noon today a message came over the email that the plans had changed, Tim had gotten back from his trip a little early, and we in fact could ride. I hadn't brought my bike with me, so I had to leave work a little early to have time to pick it up.

The CT profile this week was to start out on a flat section and warm-up for a few miles. Then descend down, the decent was broken up with steep 0.1 mile climbs. I swear I can get virtual air on these things. On reaching the bottom we climbed up a ladder style course, a few flat miles followed by a 2% climb, flat section, another climb etc. The whole course was 19 miles. I road the course keeping my heart rate in the high 160's, and ended up finishing a little over 1 virtual mile ahead of the next riders, crew chief Ben, and Tim from CT. After finishing, I did some easy spinning for another 15 minutes waiting for the other riders to finish.

On getting back home, I hopped on the rollers and logged another hour of easy spinning.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tuesday, 2/8/2005 - Weights & A little rollers.

Today right after work I headed over to the gym to do some core body work. I did my standard routine, 3x50 sit-ups, 3x30 back extensions, 3x30 overhead bar pulls, and 3x30 rows. I did half of the rows and over head bar pulls at 90lbs and half at 80 lbs. On leaving the gym, I jumped on the scale to see where I was. Well, 179lbs puts me a little high on the climbing table listed in the most recent Velo-News but not all that high, my height is 74 inches, and there's still a few more months till RAO. My goal, which I don't think I will hit, would be to enter RAO even stronger then I am now but with a weight close to 175lbs. IMO, strength is much more important then weight. So between now and RAO, I will focus on just getting stronger, watching what I eat, and let my weight do its natural thing.

On getting back to the apartment, I logged a little time on the rollers ~30 minutes or so. I started to feel really tired, so I turned in an hour early to catch up on a little sleep.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

2/7/2005 -- Rollers

After Sundays little adventure the race bike was happy to be back inside. I swapped the cranks back to my power cranks, and spent a little over an hour riding to a 1999 tour video. I was a little bummed to see some rust streaks had developed on my brand new chain after Sunday’s ride. Ohh well, its nothing a little lube won't fix.


Monday, February 07, 2005

2/06/2005 -- Tough as Nails

Today the plan was for my crew chief, Ben, and I to meet up around 9:00 and ride out to May Valley and back adding in a few extra miles as we saw fit. The route is one of our real staple routes, maybe a little longer but nothing really too out of the ordinary. The ride out to May Valley went very smooth, the weather was overcast, and the road was damp from the previous day, but it wasn't raining yet. It was on the cool side, but nothing that full Amifib gloves, arm-warmers, Assos bib tights, a polypropylene shirt and hat, booties, and wool socks, couldn't handle.

Well, after ~30 miles or so it started to rain. Now, yes I live in Seattle, and yes it does rain alot, but in Seattle most of the time when it does rain its warm and the rain is more of a misty rain. It will mist all day some times, you never really get all that wet and while the bike gets fairly worked over from the road grime their aren't large puddles / lakes to deal with. On the off chance it does actually rain hard, it will rain hard for a short time before tapering off. Well today things were different. It was cold and the rain just dumped, the last 40+ miles back to the lake and up around the north end, were more of a adventure, then a typical training ride.

At first it wasn't too bad, the clothes were staying moderately dry, but at some point the gloves and booties, reached there threshold levels and just seemed to welcome in the outside elements. Glued to our aero bars we worked our way up the lake. The fingers and toes seemed to disappear, and the hands a feet felt more like single points of contact. With the chill of every decent, the descents became a dreaded obstacles and the climb seemed all to short. On the final major climb Ben, said, "Kenneth, its riding days like today that make us tough as nails.". Which I think summed up the ride nicely. After the final decent, we hammered back up the flat Burk, trying to get back ASAP. Coming back I was so cold, I had to fight to get my heart rate over 120 BPM.

Ride Stats: Some where in the 5-6 hours, Average Speed: ~17.2 mph (As measured on Bens Computer)
Weather: Heavy rain and very cold.

Gear that worked: Assos Bib Tights! I love these things. My legs stayed dry and warm given the conditions and thickness of the tights.

Gear that didn't work: With heavy rain my Amifib gloves became sponges. Yes, my fingers were warmer with them on. But they are hardly water repellant at all. Right after finishing the ride, I pulled my fingers out of my gloves to retrieve my apartment keys. only to find water gushing out, with out even squeezing the gloves at all!

Food: I started the day, with one bottle of Perpetuem, and one bottle of Heed. With the cold weather, I wish I'd packed two bottles of the Perpetuem. I'd eaten a fairly large breakfast, but with the cold weather, I just couldn't seem to eat enough calories.

Recovery: On getting back home, I ripped of my wet cycling gear, turned the shower on, downed my whey and TR, and hopped in the shower attempting to revive my frozen extremities.


Saturday, February 05, 2005

2/5/2005 -- Breaking the Chain..

All right so today's been well just a little mess. I got up with the intention of meeting up with a friend and putting in a nice easy century, but well that didn't happen. Some how, I didn't get out the door till 8:40, which made me 10 minutes late for the rendezvous and alas after waiting another 10 minutes I decided I needed to make the best of it and go on my own.

At that point, I started to head up the lake; my plan was to head out towards the Carnation and Snoqualmie Falls. I road the Burk up north and hopped off by the Red Hook brewery and started to climb Hollywood hill, yeah I agree the name is lame just be glad you don't live there. The climb is rather steep and just as I was cresting the climb. SNAP went my chain. I ride a 10 speed wipperman. The wipperman chain is the kind of chain you can take apart with a regular chain tool but can only be re-connected via special connecting links. I figured that I'd broken the connecting link. Well it turned out I hadn’t. I'd snapped one of the regular links. Then to my horror, I noticed that on two other links the plate on one side had cracks running down from the pins. With that I decided that it was a good time to turn the bike around and just try to get back home before I snapped the rest of my chain. I got back with out further incident. Actual ride time ~3.5 hours.

On getting back to the apartment, I grabbed some lunch, and then headed over to Aurora Cycle, the bike shop sponsor for my USCF team, to pickup a new wipperman chain.

Not feeling like I'd really ridden enough, I hooked the Computrainer up this evening and started to ride the first leg of the RAO course George posted a couple of weeks ago. I ended up riding another ~2 hours 20 minutes (I only road part of the first leg). I split the ride in half; I did the first hour and twenty minutes, then stopped for dinner, and then did another hour.

Today, worked out to ~5+ hours on the power cranks. Not quite the century I was thinking of, but still not too bad. For recovery, I took some hammer whey, and TR.. After posting this I'll do a few stretches and then hit the sack.


Friday, February 04, 2005

2/3/2005, Rollers

Time to start the supplements: In looking at the race calendar, I decided today was a good day to start taking my racing supplements. Before hopping on the bike, I took some Hammer Omega 3, and Enduro/Cardo caps. I have half a bottle of Enduro/Cardio caps left over from last year, once I use up this bottle I plan on switching over to the new race caps. The Omega 3 supplement is the new Norwegian fish oil pills Hammer is now carrying. I have to say, that I like the old ones a little better about a half hour after taking these I developed a strong fishy taste in my mouth.

I didn't get enough sleep last night, and was thus in the twilight zone all today. On getting back home, I spent a good hour on the rollers. I decided that I was going to get more out of catching up on sleep then by spending another hour on the rollers, so I turned in a little early


2/2/2005, CT Session and Rollers,

Today was another team Computrainer session. I really like these, I feel like I get alot out of them and its fun to do virtual riding with fellow team members. Today’s course, was a little different, it was basically a huge cadence exercise. The course started out flat, and then descended down for a few miles before more or less leveling out and heading in. The entire course was 20 miles.

From the start I took the lead, then on the decent I slipped back into 4th or 5th position, as I got caught by riders with larger gear ratios. Currently the largest thing I have is a 53/13 which works fine on the flats, but every now and then on descents I will completely spin out of it. I figure for ultra's this is fine, if I spin out it’s a sign that I just don't need to be working that hard. The other thing of note in regard to spinning is when the tension on the cranks goes to zero it can be very difficult to spin the power cranks. You don't get any feed back as to where you are in your pedal stroke and in my case my stroke will get vary choppy. On arriving at the base of the hill, I slowly worked my way up the virtual field. For the remainder of the ride I tried to keep my heart rate in the high 160's low 170's.

On getting back home, after dinner I spent another hour+ on the rollers.

Recovery: I took my Hammer TR and did some stretching and rolling on the foam roller.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

2/1/2005 - Lifting and Rollers

This weekend my crew chief, told me that I needed to take Monday as rest day. After a little arm-twisting, I relented and took the day off.

Tuesday right after work I headed over to the Gym, Pro Club, to do a few core lifts. For the last two weeks I haven't been quite regular enough in my lifting routine, so it felt good to get back on track. I'm sure I've said it before, but I really don't like working out in the Gym the atmosphere just feels well phony. So for my lifts I did 3 sets of 30 reps on the row, bar pull, and back extension, and 3 sets of 50 sit-ups. Weight wise, I'm generally lifting 90lbs with the upper body. It always feels easy at first, but by the 30th rep of the 3rd set, my arms are calling it quits. The whole goal in respect to the lifts is to raise my bodies "core" (back, abs, etc) and not build lots of useless arm strength. Overall since I started training I'm definitely starting to feel stronger though I still have along way to go.

On my way back home I stopped off and picked up some takeout Thai food. After Thai dinner, I did some easy spinning on the rollers for around an hour and half, nothing hard, just spinning the legs a little. While on the rollers I watched the very marginal movie, "Dodge Ball". I'm not one for physical comedy; I've crashed enough to know there’s nothing funny about pain. One of the few redeeming parts of the movie was the "Lance Armstrong" cameo, it’s near the end. Lance plays well himself, and encourages one of the characters to return to the final game. Movie Review 1.5 stars.